3100 FUE Procedure with Dr. Michael Vories
Hello HRN Folks,
Well....I've done it.....I've done it...I've done it...I've done it. After 10 years of wishing, wanting, waiting, endless research and a lot of talking myself off the ledge....I finally went forward with my hair restoration procedure. I'm currently just about 7 Days Post OP and getting ready for the long road to recovery, and the final result.
Here are the stats:
Doctor: Dr. Michael Vories of Carolina Hair Surgery. We did the surgery in his Charlotte office.
Length of Procedure: 2 days. Day 1 1500 grafts. Day 2 1600 grafts (this day was focused solely on the hairline.)
Graft Count: 3100 grafts (I don't have the particular breakdowns. I'll email the doc and see if I can get them posted here)
Focus: Frontal forelock, rebuilt hairline and adding additional density as we move toward the back.
NW Scale: I was a NW V merging onto a VI. I started using Propecia about 5 months ago, and that has made a HUGE improvement to my hair. Experience minimal side effects at first, so as opposed to taking the pill every day. I changed it to taking a half a pill every other day. Side effects disappeared and hair loss seems to have stopped and slowly reversed. My crow was dipping down the back of my head, not only has that stopped, but the hair has thickened up and it almost looks full now. Native hair has really thickened up too. I'd say I'm still a NW V...but its looking like it might be on its way to a light NW V...or high NW IV.
Medication: Propecia (1/2 pill every other day) Toppik multi-vitamin and Rogaine once a day right before bed.
Photos: I'm currently resting at a relatives house, when I return home and can download the photos I have, I'll be more than happy to post them. Rest assured dear readers, I have plenty to share and eagerly await your responses.
Experience: My experience with Dr. Vories was nothing short of excellent. I had a consultation with him back in October, via WebEx and I found him to be a knowledgeable and straight forward surgeon. Since I had just started propecia at that point, he suggested a 3000 graft procedure, with the focus on the hairline and frontal forelock, then to re-visit in a year to see how I reacted to the medication. After plenty of thought and deliberation I decided to go ahead and do it. I had opted for the FUE procedure long ago to avoid the strip scar, also I liked to cut my hair very short. Due to the fact that my hair is very fine, and my donor area was classified as average, I felt that this procedure would be my best option. His Charlotte office is actually just over the South Carolina line in a town called Fort Mill, which is no more than 10 minutes from the Charlotte airport. I flew in on a Sunday night, had the procedure on Monday and Tuesday. Rested on Wednesday, and flew out Thursday morning.
The procedure itself was nerve wrecking for the first few minutes, mainly because I didn't know what to expect. I arrived at 8 a.m. Monday morning and had a quick meeting with Dr. Vories. We went over paperwork and what to expect, and then he lead me into the procedure room. There he took pictures, and drew the hairline, and the areas we wanted to focus on. After that, one of his techs took me to a stylist chair where I was shaved down and lead into the chair. I was given a mild sedative to relax me, and keep my blood pressure down. Then for the next two and half hours I lay on my stomach, with my head turned to the side, where Dr. Vories proceeded to extract the grafts. The nerves I felt for the beginning of the procedure, quickly faded away as the sedative took effect and I spent the entire time half sleeping or just dozing off. The only slightly painful part of the procedure occurred at the juncture where Dr. Vories had to inject the donor area with a numbing solution. The initial injection was slightly painful, and Dr. Vories let me know that I would feel a little pinch, which I did. He had to do this a few times as the entire area had to be numbed. By the third shot I didn't feel anything. The rest of the procedure was painless. We broke around 12 or 1230 for lunch, which was provided by Dr. Vories patient coordinator, Mike Frame and then afterward it was back to the chair for the insertions and placements of the grafts. This time flew back quickly as I watched a movie on a huge 60 inch flat screen TV and I was done by 3. Mike Frame gave me a ride back to my hotel and I rested for the rest of the night.
Day 2 was nearly exact repeat of day 1, with the focus being on packing the hairline. After the final part of the procedure, I had another meeting with Dr. Vories and he gave me my post op kit and post op instructions. The kit contained a washing sponge, shampoo and an instruction booklet. I was supposed to not let anything disturb the grafts for two days after my surgery, with the exception of a spraying a saline spray on them every hour. Then on the third day after my surgery would be my first wash day. The wash would really be a mixing of the shampoo with water in a cup, pouring it over my head gently and then dabbing it with a sponge.
The flight home was easy, I wore a medical cap over my head to ensure that the grafts would not be touched, as well as putting gauze over the donor area so people didn't get scared when they saw me walking thru the airport. Honestly not one seemed to take any notice of me...lucky I guess. The next few days was rest, rest and more rest. The nights of the surgery and the first three nights afterward I had to sleep with my head elevated. This was rather irritating because I have a slight case of sleep apnea, so lying flat is much better for me. I found the best way to make this work (advice for all those looking to have this done) get one of those travel horseshoe pillows and sleep on the computer chair of the hotel. Or pile up the pillows on your bed and lay back. When I got back home the first day back passed relatively easily, I did my first wash and spent much of the day just sitting in a recliner binge watching Netflix. Dr. Vories did give me some pain pills, which I have had to resort to a few times. I was also prescribed a sleep aid as well which has helped a lot. The pain has started to kick in over the weekend, about 4 and 5 days post op. Its not horrible pain, but more aggravating than anything else. It feels very much like a tightness on the donor area, and stretches up into the recipient area. I've found that applying an ice pack to the donor area really helps. Last night I had my first full good nights sleep, and I noticed I woke up this morning feeling much better, the pain is much more manageable and the scabs on the donor area are starting to fall off. The hair in the recipient area appears to be growing slightly, which is a sight that I haven't seen in nearly 10 years....exciting stuff. I can't wait for the final result.
Lastly I cannot speak highly enough of Dr. Vories. His laser focus, thorough approach and truly wonderful bedside manner made this whole experience well worth it. He always checked in with me during the procedure to see how I was feeling, and if there was any pain. He always made sure I was comfortable and I've called him a few times since the procedure and he has always quickly responded to me personally. I cannot recommend his staff of clinic high enough, obviously we will have to wait until the final result. But my experience with him was wonderful.
Also big thanks to the people on this form for providing the resources for such endeavors, I would be lost without you guys. Pics will come soon and I will happily try to keep everyone posted on my progress.
Until next time
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